My wife and I moved to northwest Bradenton in early June and quickly discovered the fun and beauty of Anna Maria Island. Going to the Rod and Reel Pier on Sunday mornings to enjoy a delicious BLT made with fresh yummy tomatoes became a tradition we were all too ready to establish.
That is ... until what happened when we took my in-laws, who were on their first visit here to join us for our Sunday morning tradition. The small lot at the pier was full so I dropped the wife and her parents off to get us a table while I went to find a parking spot.
About a block west was a house under construction with a gravel area in front where it looked like construction vehicles had been parking. I pulled completely off the road with my car facing the right way and walked back to the pier.
When I returned I found a $35 parking ticket waiting for me.
I know from reading in the local papers that parking is a huge issue on the island. I get that.
But when I'm completely off the road heading in the proper direction, why should I get a ticket? And for $35!
Parking was a big issue in the community where we lived previously, too. On a first offense, the ticket was $15; second, it went up to $25, and third plus it leveled off at $35.
It seems to me that the folks making decisions in Anna Maria don't understand the "friendly" part of being a family-friendly place to visit. With all the choices available in Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, you can bet your sweet bippy I won't spend another nickle in Anna Maria.
They won't miss my money, but it's the only way I know to express my disappointment with their policies!